When you’re a busy college student with a mile-long to-do list, it can be difficult to acknowledge—let alone prioritize—your mental health. But navigating your newfound independence and managing adult responsibilities for the first time can be a lot. But just because mental health issues are common doesn’t mean you have to struggle through them without support. There are lots of ways to take care of yourself mentally.
Join a club
It’s no secret that having meaningful relationships is crucial to maintaining good mental health. After all, humans are social beings. That means you’ll crave connections with other people—especially if it’s your first time away from the familiarity of home. In college, such friendships will likely happen in classes and dorms, but if you can take it a step further, consider joining one of the many clubs or groups your school has to offer.
Stick to an exercise routine
n between classes, study sessions, and hanging out at the student union, aim to make regular exercise part of your weekly routine. Consistently working out is one of the best things you can do to fight feelings of anxiety, depression, and general feelings of stress, research shows. But remember: You don’t have to bench 300 pounds or run a marathon to stay active (if you do, more power to you). Simply walking around campus or going on a weekend hike are effective ways to stay active and boost endorphins that help regulate your mood.